Esper has clashed with Trump over a variety of topics since the summer.
President Donald Trump announced Monday that he had fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, ousting one of his top Cabinet officials just days after losing his reelection bid.
In a pair of tweets, Trump wrote that Esper had “been terminated” and that he would be replaced by National Counterterrorism Center Director Christopher Miller, who will lead the Pentagon in an acting capacity. Miller also worked on counterterrorism at the Department of Defense and at the National Security Council, and is trusted by the president, according to a current and former defense official.
The shake-up comes after reports that Esper had prepared a letter of resignation in recent days, and after lawmakers, former defense officials and military experts urged him to remain in his post to ensure a smooth presidential transition. On Saturday, POLITICO reported that top Senate leaders also pressed the White House to keep Esper in his position, but noted that Trump has a history of ignoring advice and firing his leaders by tweet.
Since the summer, Esper and Trump have clashed over a number of issues, especially the president’s threat to use active-duty troops to quash civil unrest.
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